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TradeWinds Archive

Industry News List

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HCE Celebrates 25 Years Of Engineering Success

One of Las Vegas’ Most Successful Engineering Firms Celebrates a Quarter-Century of Great Building Design

Twenty-five years ago, Harris Consulting Engineers, LLC began as Harris and Simoncini, Ltd and embarked on helping to change the landscape of the Las Vegas Valley. Today the firm is one of Nevada’s most respected HVAC, plumbing, electrical, architectural lighting and technology design firms.

President Tom Harris remembers, "When my father Floyd Harris Jr., Marc Simoncini and I opened the doors to our company, we believed we could address the need for quality engineering in the growing Valley. Our very first project was at McCarran International Airport and we continue to work there to this day. The majority of our work over the last 25 years has been in Las Vegas and we are proud to have contributed to the phenomenal growth of our city.”

Harris Consulting Engineers reflects on the past quarter-century with sincere appreciation for all the people that made the firm successful; clients, employees and community. HCE is also using this time to look into the future. “Although the current economic climate has caused a slow-down in construction, we remain strong and are taking advantage of this time to improve our processes and people”, says Harris. The firm has always embraced innovation and is excited by a renewed commitment to technologies like Building Information Modeling and sustainable design practices.

Some of the firm’s more recent notable projects include Town Square, the Desert Living Center at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, World Market Center, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Centennial Hills Library and the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. Harris Consulting Engineers will welcome 2009 with a new spirit that inspires ideas, supports innovation and results in dynamic solutions to new engineering challenges.

More about Harris Consulting Engineers:
Harris Consulting Engineers provides superior engineering services in HVAC, plumbing, electrical, architectural lighting and technology design. Since 1983, HCE has combined innovation with real-world solutions for optimal comfort, convenience, function, and value. We utilize strong individual and team efforts with adherence to the highest professional standards to promote the shared success of our clients, employees and company. HCE is designing the future of the built environment.

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Introducing CRL ‘s Deluxe Wet Seal Wall Panel Cladding System
Full Framed and Adjustable System Simplifies Installation and Replacement of Individual Panels

Los Angeles-based, C.R. Laurence Co., Inc. (CRL), a leading supplier to the glazing, railing, architectural, construction, industrial, and automotive industries, is introducing a new proprietary wall cladding system, the Deluxe Wet Seal Wall Panel Cladding System that allows wall panels to be removed individually.

Armando Rodriguez, who heads up the Architectural Metals team at CRL, comments, “CRL’s Deluxe Full Framed and Adjustable Wet Seal Wall Panel System provides the extra strength required when large panels are being used. The most important feature, however, is the mounting system, which greatly simplifies design, installation, and panel alignment. With this new system, individual panels may be removed without the need of removing surrounding panels to gain access. This advanced feature is uniquely implemented in our Deluxe System.”

‘Interlocking mounting clips aid in panel-to-panel alignment, and, at the same time, allow for panel expansion, contraction, and seismic movement without buckling or undue stress. The mounting clips are free to slide along the frame's length, making design and erection of the building's supporting members a simplified task,” Rodriguez continues. “Each of the panels is fully framed for added strength. By providing extruded aluminum entirely around the panel, extra rigidity affords panel sizes up to 60” (1.52 m) by 168” (4.27 m).”

Rodriguez adds, “Whether working on new construction or doing renovation work, this cladding system is ideal for both exteriors and interiors, helping to create a distinctive image. Wall panels can be used for exterior canopies, entryways, soffits, fascia bands, building cladding, modular building exteriors, column covers, and even signage. After a wall panel design has been approved, it is sent to fabrication where the panels are cut and bent. Then the perimeter frame is factory installed, so no job-site fabrication is required. CRL's Architectural and Ornamental Metals Technical Sales Staff is available during the installation process should any questions arise.

Panel materials available for the Deluxe Wet Seal Wall Panel System include:

· Fabricated ALPOLIC® Aluminum Composite Panels, pre-finished with the new long-lasting LUMIFLON1588550927 paint. ALPOLIC® panels are also available in hundreds of other colors and gloss ranges on special order. Standard colors include bone white, silver metallic, champagne metallic, medium bronze metallic, and mica platinum. CRL has over 250 quick turn custom color options available, as well as color matching. Standard panels sizes range up to 62” (1.58 m) wide by 196” (4.98 m) in length, and are 4 mm thick.

· CRL Metal Composite Material Panels are available in copper, stainless steel, titanium, and zinc pre-finished metals. These ALPOLIC® Metal Composite Panels give the appearance of solid metal, while providing the weight and flatness advantage of composite material. Sheet sizes up to 48” (1.22 m) wide by 196” (4.98 m) in length, depending upon material. Standard panels are 4 mm thick.

· CRL Solid Metal Material Panels are available in a large selection of metals, finishes, and textures. These expand the panel selection to any material that is available in sheet form. Commonly used are aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, and naval brass in a variety of finishes including brushed, polished, oil rubbed, and clear powder coated finishes.

Panels can be fabricated to accommodate many configurations including square, curved, and angled. Attachment options include horizontal and vertical joints; inside and outside corners; parapets; bottom joints; end/abutments; window sills, headers and jambs; and curved and window wall applications. CRL will also design attachments to meet unique application requirements.

CRL also offers Standard, Premier and Heavy Plate Wet Seal Systems. All of these systems are featured in the company’s Architectural Metals Catalog (AM09) which also showcases other architectural and ornamental metal fabrications; metal roof panels; column covers; sunshades, awnings and canopies; architectural wire cloth; linear grilles, spider fittings; railings; and standoffs. The catalog is available in print or online through the company’s web site at crlaurence.com.

For additional information, contact CRL’s Architectural Metals Technical Sales Department at (800) 421-6144 in the United States, (877) 421-6144 from Canada, or (323) 588-1281 from outside the United States and Canada. Ask for Ext. 7770.

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Berger Building Products, Inc. Introduces

FreedomGray® Copper Roof Drainage SystemsBerger Building Products, Inc. introduces FreedomGray® Copper Roof Drainage Systems, coming in January 2009. This distinctive gutter system is formed from Revere® FreedomGray 16-ounce architectural copper sheet coated on both sides with a unique, patented tin-zinc alloy. FreedomGray offers all of the advantages of copper and provides an environmentally safe finish with a soft, naturally weathering earth tone gray color.

Berger offers FreedomGray in traditional 5” and 6” half-round gutter systems and accessories. FreedomGray is easier to work with than comparable zinc systems. Installers can use many of the same techniques and tools as required for copper gutter installations. FreedomGray is also backed with a 25-year warranty. The addition of FreedomGray is just one more reason why Berger has been the industry leader for copper roof drainage systems for over 130 years.

For more product information, call Berger today at (800) 523-8852!

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High-performance classroom of future opens with PPG glass, coatings, paint
Project debuts today at Greenbuild 2008

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 18, 2008 – Glass, coatings and paint products from PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) are part of a special demonstration project showcasing the “High Performance School of the Future, Today,” opening today at the 2008 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston.

Classroom’s Construction ProjectThe showcase, designed by Project FROG, a San Francisco-based design firm, features a working classroom that highlights advanced green building systems, products and technologies. Three PPG products were used in the classroom’s construction:

  • Solarban 70XL glass, which enhances the learning environment by transmitting sunlight and blocking the sun’s heat, thereby reducing energy consumption by lowering reliance on artificial lighting and cooling systems.
  • Pure Performance paint by Pittsburgh Paints, a premium, low-odor, latex paint that emits zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and has passed small chamber emission testing established by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).
  • Duranar coatings, which contribute to the environmental performance of buildings through exceptional durability and colorfastness, virtually eliminating the need for future repainting and touch-ups.

Energy modeling studies by an independent firm showed that substituting Solarban 70XL glass for dual-pane tinted glass in a standard one-story middle school could cut heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment costs by up to $125,000. Annual energy costs were also lowered by as much as $17,000, or more than 5 percent per year. Cost savings were even more significant in larger buildings.

Pittsburgh Paints’ products are used by architects, designers and building owners throughout the country to meet VOC requirements. The environmentally-gentle formulas provide ease of application not found in most competing low-VOC products.

Duranar SPF and Ultra-COOL coatings are available with infrared-reflective pigments that deflect solar heat, cutting colling costs and enabling architects to brighten metal roofs and building panels with a bold selection of light and medium colors.

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

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Architecture Billings Index Drops to All Time Low
Declining business conditions also reflected in historic downturn in project inquiries

On the heels of a six-point drop in September, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) plummeted to its lowest level since the survey began in 1995. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI shows an approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the October ABI rating was 36.2, down significantly from the 41.4 mark in September (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was 39.9, also a historic low point.

“Until recently, the institutional sector had been somewhat insulated from the deteriorating conditions affecting the commercial and residential markets,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Now we are seeing that governments and nonprofit agencies are having difficulties getting bonds approved to finance large scale education and healthcare facilities, furthering the weak conditions across the construction industry.”

Key October ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (44.3), South (40.0), Midwest (37.4), West (34.9)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (45.1), institutional (42.1), commercial / industrial (33.6), multi-family residential (34.2)
  • Project inquiries index: 39.9

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the survey’s inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly survey sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org/walkthewalk.

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AGC Streamlines Design and Construction with New XML Schemas
agcXML Will Automate Information Exchange

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) today announced an early-2009 release of agcXML, a set of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) schemas designed to automate and streamline the exchange of information during the building design and construction process. This buildingSMARTTM initiative, led and funded by AGC and managed by NIBS, will enable efficient, reliable exchange of electronic project information among all design and construction professionals. The ability to import and export data in agcXML format will involve few application modifications, and no need for software developers to change or share proprietary code and data formats.

"agcXML will move our industry swiftly into the 21st century by reducing exchange of cumbersome paper documents and establishing a common data format and classification system," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. "The information contained in owner/contractor agreements, schedules of values, requests for information, requests for proposals, submittals, etc., can all be exchanged through agcXML."

On December 10 in Washington, D.C., AGC members e-Builder and Penta Technologies, Inc. will demonstrate the capabilities of agcXML at NIBS' buildingSMARTTM alliance National Conference, co-located with Ecobuild/AEC-ST Fall at the Washington Convention Center.

"As a non-proprietary system, agcXML will give the entire building community a fast, accurate way of exchanging information among dissimilar and proprietary software applications, with the option of using those applications as they are currently designed," said NIBS president Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA.

Support for agcXML will be embedded directly into popular applications; end users need not license or purchase the technology directly. Software companies will license agcXML at no cost and in perpetuity.

For more information on agcXML, visit www.agcxml.org. For more information on the National Conference, see www.aececobuildfall.com/attend-fall08/events_bSMART.html.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents more than 33,000 firms, including 7,500 of America's leading general contractors, and over 12,500 specialty-contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at www.agc.org.

Created by Congress in 1974 to spur new technologies and processes through research and education, the independent National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) is an authoritative source for improving the built environment to benefit all Americans. Access NIBS at www.nibs.org.

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STARPHIRE glass helps generate solar power on world’s largest ‘green’ museum

Starphire ultra-clear glass by PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) is helping to produce solar power for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the largest “green” museum in the world.

More than 700 solar panels made from Starphire® glass by PPG help the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco generate 213,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, which equals 10 percent of the museum’s needs.The building, designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, opened Sept. 27 and features more than 700 solar panels made with Starphire glass for Open Energy Corp. (OTCBB:OEGY) by SunTech Power Holdings Co. The panels form one of the largest solar canopies in the world and are expected to generate 213,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, or up to 10 percent of the Academy’s electricity needs. Museum officials estimate that will prevent the release of more than 400,000 pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year.

The solar installation is part of the museum’s effort to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification. The solar panels also complement the design of the Academy by forming a decorative rim around its living roof, which sustains 1.7 million native plants on a 197,000-square foot surface.

Starphire glass by PPG is one of the industry’s most efficient collectors of solar energy because of its ability to transmit high levels of sunlight.

About Open Energy
Open Energy Corporation is a Next-Generation Solar Energy company that develops clean energy solutions, innovative solar products and energy management applications. Open Energy's award-winning products include proprietary, cost-competitive and attractive BIPV solar tiles, membranes and asphalt/composition products. In addition, the EcoTouch Energy Management System gives consumers control over their energy usage while saving money. Open Energy's portfolio of products and services are coupled with innovative financing to enable green Solar Communities that provide low-cost power with no upfront cost to the consumer. Open Energy is headquartered in Solana Beach, Calif. For more information, visit http://www.openenergycorp.com.

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

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New Rating System Resets the Bar for Green Building Performance

LEED 2009, the long-awaited update to the internationally recognized LEED green building certification program, has passed member ballot, and will be introduced in 2009 as the next major evolution of the existing LEED rating systems for commercial buildings. It includes a series of major technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing other environmental and human health outcomes.

LEED 2009 will also incorporate highly anticipated regional credits, extra points that have been identified as priorities within a project’s given environmental zone. LEED has also undergone a scientifically grounded re-weighting of credits, changing allocation of points among LEED credits to reflect climate change and energy efficiency as urgent priorities. This will be one of the most significant changes to the rating system, and will increase the importance of green building as a means of contributing immediate and measurable solutions toward energy independence, climate change mitigation, and other global priorities.

LEED 2009 incorporates eight years worth of market and user feedback in the form of precedent-setting Credit Interpretation Rulings, which will ensure clarity for project teams. Coupled with a credit alignment structure designed to create a more elegant and harmonized rating system, LEED 2009 will reset the bar for the certification of high-performance green buildings.

Process innovation in how new technical advancements are incorporated into LEED will also be introduced alongside LEED 2009, including a “pilot process” for individual credits that will allow major new technical developments to be flexibly trialed, evaluated, and incorporated into LEED.

“The conclusion of the balloting process marks the culmination of tireless work done by representatives from all corners of the building industry,” said Brendan Owens, Vice President, LEED Technical Development, U.S. Green Building Council’s. “We have the deepest gratitude for our volunteer leaders, and for their bold steps towards resetting the bar for green building leadership and challenges the industry to move faster and reach further.”

The first public comment period for LEED 2009 opened in May 2008, followed by a second in late August. USGBC had received nearly 7,000 comments from members and stakeholders at the conclusion of the second public comment period on September 2. The final step is the consensus development process for LEED 2009 was to be balloted for a pass/fail vote among USGBC’s 18,000 member organizations. LEED 2009 successfully passed member ballot on November 14. Detailed information about specific proposed technical changes to the rating system can be found in the background documents that accompany the public comment forms on USGBC’s Web site.

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. Since USGBC’s founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 16,700 member companies and organizations, a comprehensive family of LEED® green building certification systems, an expansive educational offering, the industry’s popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (www.greenbuildexpo.org), and a network of 79 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.

About LEED®
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification system is a feature-oriented certification program that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category. LEED can be applied to all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core & shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and retail facilities. LEED for Healthcare is currently under development and is expected to be released in early 2008.

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Adverse Economic And Credit Conditions Severely Weaken Construction

The weak economy and tight credit conditions, coupled with severe job losses and the resulting decline in state government revenues, will translate into significant weakness for the construction industry through 2010, leading the Portland Cement Association (PCA) to again adjust its cement consumption forecast.

The latest PCA forecast of cement, concrete, and construction predicts a 12.8 percent decline in cement consumption in 2008, followed by 11.9 percent and 2.1 percent declines in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The PCA report cites the continued drop in residential starts and the erosion of the strong fundamentals supporting nonresidential construction as major factors leading to reduced cement consumption. The weak economy also has affected the public construction sector.

“Several economic factors are negatively influencing the construction industry,” Edward Sullivan, PCA chief economist said. “High energy prices, the sub-prime crisis, the melt-down of our financial markets, inflation, job losses and tight lending standards are combining to create weak economic conditions and the emergence of huge state deficits. Public construction accounts for nearly half of all the total cement consumption in the U.S., and states in poor fiscal condition will need to cut back on this spending.”

PCA expects cement consumption in residential to decline 31.7 percent in 2008 and 16.9 percent in 2009, but a rebound of the market in the second half of 2010 will lead to a 12.1 percent increase in consumption in that year. Consumption in the nonresidential sector is expected to decline 22.2 percent in 2009 and the public sector will see 6.6 percent declines in 2009 and 2010.

“The nonresidential construction market typically takes 18 months from the onset of better economic conditions to rebound,” Sullivan said. “With weak consumer spending, this sector will be especially hit hard in retail construction.”

PCA predicts a recovery to begin in 2011 with a 10.3 percent increase compared to 2010 consumption and a return to near-record consumption levels by 2013.

About PCA
Based in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.

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Interlocking PVC Floor Tiles Offer Quick Installation, Long Lasting Comfort, Quality and a SolutionThat Makes Install a Snap

TSquare flooring and matting systems reduce shutdown time for installation with their unique interlocking PVC tiles that are installed without any glue or adhesives. Tiles can be laid over virtually any hard surface, including oily, damaged or uneven surfaces. And, while they remain durable once placed, the tiles can also be easily moved and repositioned as needed, to meet design changes and needs.

Six different system variations meet an array of customer needs. TSquare tiles are used in manufacturing plants for extra floor protection, laboratories for extra slip resistance and ergonomics and commercial airports for pedestrian traffic. Available in nine standard colors and three surface types, these tiles make design possibilities limitless and readily available thanks to the short shutdown required for installation. TSquare tiles also make the shift to sustainable solutions easy because they are 100% recyclable.

These products are available immediately. Contact TSquare, 877.827.3696.

For more information on TSquare’s line of interlocking PVC tiles, visit us at www.TSquaretiles.com or call 877.827.3696. TSquare is an ISO-9001 2000 Registered Company.

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Kerfkore Company Releases New Tri-Fold

Kerfkore Company LiteratureKerfkore Company, a manufacturer of patented bendable substrates and panel products, just released a new tri-fold on its line of patented bendable materials. The bendable products covered in this tri-fold include: Kerfkore, Kerfkore-Green, Timberflex, Flexboard, FlexGreen, and econoKORE.

The literature contains detailed product specifications, which include product descriptions, product characteristics, core options, and bending capabilities. It also contains a detachable sample request form for those who would like to receive samples of our products. Visit www.kerfkore.com or call 800-637-3539 for more information.

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Besam Access Control Revolving Doors Provide Security and Comfort

Besam Entrance Solutions, the global leader in automatic door technology, has automatic access control revolving door systems that are the solution to a variety of your security demands. Whatever your access control needs may be, Besam has the solution. The door is designed to allow authorized persons to pass, while preventing unauthorized individuals access. This means that the door functions perfectly as a supervised main entrance, a staff entrance or as an entrance to a restricted area...without the need for costly security personnel located directly at the entrance. As security concerns grow, access control allows you to restrict entry to your building, provides added reassurance to those inside, and secures your sensitive material.

Besam Entrance SolutionsBesam offers revolving door systems with one-way access control (RD4A-1) in 3- or 4-wing models and two-way access control model (RD4A-2) in a 4-wing model. The doors can be ordered in several different configurations to be tailored to your needs. Rail and panel options can be selected to produce varying degrees of interior privacy. The doors are designed to be placed and fixed directly onto the finished floor surface — no special foundations or floor prepartions are required.

The door range combines safety with security and functionality. The rotating section is force sensitive. This means that if something prevents the door leaves from rotating, the rotation will stop for a brief period before starting again. The control system was developed by Besam specifically for use with its products, and the result is a fully integrated entrance solution with no compromise in design or functionality. The system ensures low operating/maintenance cost, superior safety and the best in security.

For more information regarding the Access Control Revolver, contact Besam at marketing@besam.com or call 1-866-BESAM-US.

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